Brewed last September, Brewjolais Nouveau is arguably the most outside-the-lines beer we've ever brewed here. It's a unique beer-meets-wine mashup, a hybrid sour brown ale fermented with 1200 pounds of cabernet grapes, then aged in wine barrels for several months.
"I wanted to create," Brown says, "a hybrid beer that blended a Belgian, Flanders-style brown ale with a wine from the Burgundy region of France."
What style does that make the beer? We don't know. A "Flanders/Denver-Style Purple" perhaps. You tell us.
It's 9.6% ABV and features lush flavors of grapes, malt, sour-brown tang and oak, all in a gloriously deep purple beer.
It was fermented with a wine yeast (sacchromyces byanus, to be exact), a Belgian beer yeast strain, and then aged in wine barrels for about three months before being blended to completion.
The brewing process involved some big steps. For one, at the Craft Brewers Conference a couple years ago in San Francisco, we pitched Bouckaert (a fellow we've admired for years) on the idea of helping us launch a series of brewer collaborations. (Gotta swing for the fence, right?)
He eagerly and graciously accepted the invite. We think his decision was fueled by his being knocked out by Andy's blended, otherworldy, slightly sour golden ale from last year, Orville.
Andy then got Ben on board, Ben sourced the freshly picked and crushed Colorado grapes. Andy, Peter, and our brewers Eric Erman and Josh Willet helped haul the grapes from the van parked in the alley behind our place and into the fermenter. A juicy job for sure.
Ten months later, the fruit -- no, drink -- of this collaboration is flowing at Wynkoop. We serve the beer in a wine glass. Get it while it lasts. We're releasing just a handful of 5-gallon kegs of the Brewjolais Nouveau to very select draft accounts of ours in Denver.